2023-24 Vocal Ensemble Series
Subscriptions for the Vocal Ensemble Series remain open until the first concert in the series. Subscriptions closed on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
Acclaimed vocal ensembles Conspirare, The King’s Singers, The Marian Consort, and Apollo5 showcase a range of repertoire in this year’s series. The first three concerts will take place in Duke Chapel, with Apollo5 closing the season in Baldwin Auditorium.
Subscribers save 20% off single ticket prices, access the best seat locations, and receive a 15% discount on all other events in the Duke Arts Presents season (some exceptions may apply).
Single tickets are available for all events below.
For questions and customer support, please contact the Duke University Box Office at 919-684-4444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Box Office Hours: Tue – Fri, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, October 14, 2023, at 7 pm
GRAMMY-winning choir Conspirare makes their Duke Arts debut as the featured artist of the North Carolina American Choral Directors Association meeting. Lauded for “expanding the boundaries of choral performance” (Wall Street Journal), Conspirare aims to harness the power of music through world-class performances to change lives and engage audiences. The ensemble, based in Austin, Texas, exhibits their “sublime music, superbly sung” repertoire in the rich acoustic of Duke Chapel. (NPR)
Conspirare presents a program of modern music, including Samuel Barber’s arrangement of his Adagio for Strings for choir, set to a text from the Latin Mass. They will also highlight commissioned works by three living composers—Alex Berko’s Sacred Place, an ode to nature in the shape of Jewish liturgy; a song by Shara Nova, lead singer of My Brightest Diamond; and selections from Conspirare director’s Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard, a musical meditation and response to the traumatic death of a young man.
Samuel Barber: Agnus Dei
Shara Nova: I Have Never Loved Someone
Alex Berko: Sacred Place
Craig Hella Johnson: Considering Matthew Shepard (selections)
The King’s Singers
Thursday, December 7, 2023, at 7:30 pm
For their fifth performance at Duke, the King’s Singers present a signature holiday program. One of the first vocal ensembles inducted into Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” the King’s Singers are famous across the world for their unique blend of the English choral tradition, popular music, modern composition, and a variety of other genres, resulting in a sound that defies easy categorization. Their performances bring matchless technique and endearing engagement with audiences, skills honed across their 55 years as an ensemble.
The King’s Singers’ Holiday Program emerges naturally from their conviction that music has the power to unite people and communities, providing a chance for disparate groups to come together in song and fellowship. Their program features Christmas favorites, and also highlights the legacy of English Renaissance composer William Byrd, and explores the works of Scandinavian composers like Norway’s Ola Gjeilo. They conclude by offering a convivial jaunt through the magical holiday legacy of Disney music.
Carols from King’s
Henry James Gauntlett, arr. Nick Ashby: Once in Royal David’s city
Bob Chilcott: The Shepherd’s Carol
Robert de Pearsall, arr. Daniel Hyde: In dulci jubilo
Ola Gjeilo: Northern Lights
Bernhard Severin Ingemann, arr. Ole Faurschou: Deilig er jorden
Edvard Grieg: Ave maris stella
400 Years of William Byrd
Plainchant: Rorate coeli
William Byrd: Rorate coeli
William Byrd: O magnum mysterium – Beata virgo
William Byrd: Vigilate
Finding Harmony at Christmas
Vince Guaraldi, arr. Nick Ashby: Christmastime is here
Franz Gruber, arr. John Rutter/Keith Roberts: Stille Nacht/Silent Night
(Preceded by a reading of Christmas 1915)
Gustav Holst, arr. Alexander L’Estrange: In the bleak midwinter
Leigh Harline, arr. John Rutter: When you wish upon a star
Camille Saint-Saëns: Sérénade d’hiver
Celebrating 100 Years of Disney
A selection of seasonal songs celebrating the magic of 100 years of Disney
The Christmas Stocking
Festive favorites and brand-new surprises from The King’s Singers world-famous close-harmony library
The Marian Consort
Sunday, February 18, 2024, at 4 pm
Across their fifteen years together, the Marian Consort has amassed an international reputation for their “astounding” performances and ensemble sound. (The Herald) This fall, the youthful choir brings its innovative performance of medieval and renaissance music to Durham for their Duke Arts debut. Under the direction of Scottish conductor, countertenor and musicologist Rory McCleery, the Marian Consort has released fourteen albums and premiered thirty new compositions, receiving praise for the “precision and pellucid texture” of their sound. (The Times)
Their program, featuring the works of the 16th-century Portuguese musician and theorist Vicente Lusitano, illumines the work of this musical master who was probably the first published composer of African descent. Drawing from their award-winning 2023 album, Vicente Lusitano: Motets, the Marian Consort contrasts Lusitano’s work with those of his European colleagues and sometime-enemies, showing this once-neglected composer is worthy of such a modern revival.
Vicente Lusitan: Heu me, Domine
Ghiselin Danckert: Laetamini in Domino
Vicente Lusitano: Regina caeli
Nicola Vicentino: Heu mihi Domine
Dom Pedro de Cristo: Magnificat 8
Vicente Lusitano: Sancta Maria
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Regina caeli a8
Tomas Luis de Victoria: Ave Maria a8
Vicente Lusitano: Aspice Domine
Dom Pedro de Cristo: Miserere mihi Domine
Vicente Lusitano: Sancta mater
João Lourenço Rebelo: Panis angelicus
Vicente Lusitano: Inviolata a8
Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 8 pm
Named for the god of music, Apollo5 has demonstrated that a choir of only five singers is no barrier to a full, dynamic sound. Over their twelve years as an ensemble, Apollo5 has performed in the most prestigious UK, European, and North American venues, gathering praise for their “lyrical expressiveness and lovely fresh tone” (Opera Today). With their repertoire spanning five centuries, two of Apollo5’s recent albums have made the top 10 UK Classical recording charts, a testament to their ability to weave a cohesive narrative out of varied selections.
While their program for Duke Arts has not yet been announced, it will feature their signature and lively mixed repertoire, highlighting music from the renaissance to pop and jazz. Their program will also include new works and arrangements especially composed for Apollo5.